WINNING TEAM — IHS Forensic team showed their talent Tuesday during the Forensics Showcase 2017. Team members include, left to right, Marie Alliston, Amanda Trout, Jacob Hogge, Anna Howland and Bailey Mattix. Taina Copeland | Staff Photo
WINNING TEAM — IHS Forensic team showed their talent Tuesday during the Forensics Showcase 2017. Team members include, left to right, Marie Alliston, Amanda Trout, Jacob Hogge, Anna Howland and Bailey Mattix. Taina Copeland | Staff Photo

Drama and comedy, along with silent auction excitement, filled the air of the Independence High School cafeteria Tuesday evening for the Forensics Showcase 2017. Members of the IHS Forensics and Debate team showcased their talents for family and friends, and received their newest chapter degrees.

Guests were treated to a wide array of dessert choices while Roni Burris, club coach, welcomed them to the performance and encouraged them to browse the silent auction items available which included folding lawn chairs with stadium blankets courtesy of Edward Jones, mystery boxes and bags, Coach purses, a IHS Bulldog cup, a Thomas Kinkade painting, a quilt, Arbonne products, a Bulldog metal cutout, jewelry and gifts baskets.

"Welcome to this years annual Forensics Showcase," Burris began. "I'm glad to see so many people here, it's always exciting. I've got kind of a small squad this year but I've had a very successful squad."

She then introduced Anna Howland who performed her Lincoln-Douglas Debate speech on homelessness. Howland qualified for state and nationals for the speech and her Prose Interpretation. Marie Alliston, then gave her comedic Poetry Interpretation of the Princess and the Pea, also a qualifier, followed by a Dramatic Interpretation by Jacob Hogge on tragically losing a fiancee; Hogge was also a qualifier. Amanda Trout, who qualified for her Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Duo Interpretation, Informative Speaking and Poetry Interpretation, gave her Informative Speaking presentation with humorous references to Warner Brothers Animaniacs. 

During intermission, team members visited with audience members where they received praise for their performances. Silent auction bids were closed soon after intermission with winners announced following performances.

Following intermission, Bailey Mattix offered his fun version of Jack and the Beanstalk in a Prose Interpretation, then Hogge and Trout gave their humorous rendition of a newscast gone awry in their Duo Interpretation which had the audience laughing out loud. Howland closed the evening with her dramatic Prose Interpretation. 

"It's been a rather interesting year for us as we kind of have a small squad this year — smaller than usual," said Burris. "But they competed in a variety of events so I wanted to take a little bit of time and talk about each one of them."

"We're going to start with our senior," she said. "Marie Alliston, as I mentioned earlier this is her first year in Forensics. She competed in 24 rounds of competition and qualified for state in poetry and has a degree of Merit. Next is our freshman, Bailey Mattix did 21 rounds of competition and earned a degree of Merit as well."

"I refer to these three juniors (Howland, Hogge and Trout) as my triplets. I've never given birth but yet I have triplets. They have really become the leaders of the squad this year and stepped up and for those of you that aren't aware, I'm going to be leaving this year and going elsewhere. I'm feeling very confidant, not only in my successor, but with these three students as seniors on the squad with four or more years of experience. So I wanted to make sure that I take a moment and tell them how much I appreciate everything they have done for me this year."

Trout was recognized for the highest points on the squad with a plaque from the Invitational Tournament and received the degree of Outstanding Distinction. Howland finished her junior year with 1,157 points for the degree of Outstanding Distinction and lettered in debate and forensics, Hogge finished the year with 765 points for degree of Superior Distinction, lettered in debate and forensics.

"I did want to take a moment to recognize the person who is going to replace me next year," Burris said. She then asked Holly Connors to stand to be recognized. Connors is a IHS graduate and competed in debate and forensics. "I feel very confidant and comfortable leaving all of my students in her very, very capable hands."

Burris recognized her assistant coach, Tonya Trout, with tears in her eyes, "Tonya has been my assistant coach for the last two years. I'm very grateful for everything she has done and I wanted to take a moment to thank her very much."